Purgatory fires. Hell fire

I was wondering how can the fire’s of purgatory and Hell be painful if we do not have a physical body?

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I highly recommend this book to you because it’s a great book although very long and sometimes a bit tedious to read.

The End of the Present World and the Mysteries of the Future Life https://g.co/kgs/fHgAU2

It covers eschatology, soteriology, four last things
as well as Christian living.

What I remember reading about purgatory in this book are the following.

Purgatory is a realm or state of being that is temporary lasting between the general judgement and the final judgement.

Purgatory is considered to be a physical place but also a state of being and can also be done on Earth in the places that souls committed sins.

The book covers briefly over the Council of Florence describing the Eastern Catholic view of purgatory what they call hades which is a place of waiting, darkness, and gloom.

The Council of Florence determines that neither definition is a set dogma but that we believe in a place or state of being of purification between the general judgement and the final judgement.

Although not in the book the belief in purgatory is a dogma of the Holy Roman Catholic Church as declared ex cathedra at the First Vatican Council however what purgatory is and how its experience is not a set dogma.

The book covers the biblical basis of purgatory and where the fire of purgatory comes from.

Purgatory is a realm that exists directly above hell and it is the fires of hell reaching up to purgatory that purge the good holy souls of their sinfulness and attachments to sin.

Now you can get into the greater question of what is hell fire made of and some say it is the love of God that torments those who reject him and do not want to be with him and that the same fire purifies the righteous.


Thanks for the reply.

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Modern Catholic Dictionary:

FIRE OF HELL. The physical reality, outside the person, by which those in hell are punished besides their loss of the vision of God. It is called fire in the Scriptures to emphasize the excruciating pain it causes, and to identify it as some external agent tormenting the lost. But it is not ordinary fire, since it does not consume what it burns, and, although material, it can affect the purely spiritual substance of the soul.

FIRE OF PURATORY. The external source of suffering in purgatory besides the temporary deprivation of the vision of God. Although many sacred writers, interpreting St. Paul (I Corinthians 3:15), assume a physical fire, the Church’s official teaching speaks only of “purifying punishments” and not of purifying fire (Denzinger 1304).

The primary torments of hell are spiritual, as these torments exceedingly outweigh the physical torments.

At the Resurrection, the damned will be reunited with their corrupt bodies.

We do not know the mechanism by which the fires of Hell and Purgatory cause pain to a non-physical soul, but the visions of Hell we’ve received through multiple private revelations all indicate that the fires of Hell are real fire, and despite being physical, do truly burn the souls of the damned.

In my mind, they hurt us because they must. That is their nature, as the source of divine punishment incurred by being subject to God’s judgment. The fires burn us because they have to, regardless of our physical state… That’s not Church teaching or anything, just my thoughts on the matter.

While it is true that the pain of the loss of God is the primary source of suffering in Hell, don’t discount the pains of the fire.

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Suppose your spouse/SO dumps you because they’ve been cheating on you with your best friend all through your relationship. Does it hurt? Yeah. Did they ever lay a finger on you? No.

Fire can be used as a metaphor for purification-- like burning out impurities in metal. Or fire can be used as a metaphor for torture, like being burned alive. Sometimes ice is the metaphor-- the coldness of the absence of love and good things.

There may be literal fire and ice; I’m not arguing one way or the other, because it doesn’t get in the way of the point that’s being made. But we can experience emotional/spiritual pain that is far greater than the physical discomfort we endure.

But ultimately, when we undergo our initial judgment, we’re in the presence of God. And to be compelled to separate ourselves from that after having experienced it— that’s a tough thing. Whether it’s on a temporary basis or a permanent basis, there’s a lot of anguish connected with being separated from the greatest thing in the universe, especially when compounded by a full knowledge of Reality, and a full absence of excuses and self-illusion.

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